Handy Dandy Tools

Here are some books and tools I've found useful while going through the writing, editing, submitting, and publishing phase (And yes, the below are in order of importance...at least the first three are. Then there are the unspoken necessities of a stylish pair of shoes and a good handbag).

I don't think I need to say anything more, do I?

Red Pens
Ask anyone who knows me and they'll know the perfect gift for me is a gift card to an office supply store (Office Max, please). It's like stepping inside a toy store. A red pen is needed to mark up your manuscript. I love to see the white pages molested by red pen marks and highlighter streaks. It makes me feel like I've accomplished something and my novel is slowly becoming a-ma-zing.

A Good Book
Reading good books while you're writing is important on so many levels. 1) You get ideas. There might be a sentence, thought or mention of something that spurs an idea for a novel your way. 2) The more variety of good books you read, the more your style of writing will come through. You'll pick up on all the different styles you've read and create your own. And 3) Reading a good book motivates you to make yours be the best it can be. You want to make sure you elicit all the feelings you had in your readers.

Writing Fiction for Dummies
Randy Ingermanson and Peter Economy

A great book that gives you simple and straightforward ideas and pathways to get started and get through a novel. I highly recommend any aspiring writer buy and devour this!

James Scott Bell

Bell offers great insight and suggestions into editing and tightening up your novel into something readable and publishable.

Chris Baty

NaNoWriMo writing companion and so much more.

Noah Lukeman

He also has a great ebook about writing queries that I love (How to Write a Great Query Letter). This book isn't about making your first five pages a guaranteed hook, it's a book about getting an agent or a publisher to read past five pages by helping you fix common problems.

Renni Browne and Dave King

A great tool to open your eyes about editing your manuscript to make it as good as it can be. Each chapter discusses a certain element of the craft and at the end offer writing exercises.
Stephen King

I never realized how funny this man was. Loved this book. It's memoir with his tips for writing mixed in.

James V. Smith, Jr.

A great, fun, easy reference book for writing.

James Scott Bell

Characters (and plot) are the crux of any good novel. Make them as believable, deep and well-rounded as you can.